In order to effectively and efficiently fulfil its constitutional mandate, the Electoral Commission has put in place a Strategic Plan covering the Financial Years 2015/16 - 2021/22 to guide it in the performance of its functions.
This approach has previously enabled the Commission to conduct general elections in a smooth manner for it provides for phased funding of key election activities thereby easing funding pressure on government given the limited resource envelope.

During the period under review, the Electoral Commission’s strategies will be anchored on six Key Result Areas, namely:

  1. an institutionally strengthened Election Management Body (EMB);

  2. free, fair and transparent elections;

  3. credible, accurate and accessible National Voters’ Register;

  4. effective and comprehensive Voter Education;

  5. an efficient service-oriented/ stakeholders focused Election Management Body (EMB); and

  6. a strengthened Monitoring and Evaluation Framework.

This Strategic Plan was developed after consultation and involvement of various stakeholders in a transparent manner and the Commission pledges to continue involving them in its implementation. Secondly, the Commission reviewed its previous Strategic Plan and carried out a Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT) analysis; stakeholder analysis, value scan, operational environment, that is Political, Economical, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal (PESTEL) and developed a balanced scorecard..

CCEDU Coordinator Mr Crispy Kaheru was among the CSO heads who attended the launch.

Download full Strategic Plan.

Following the Council meeting of the East and Horn of Africa Election Observers Network (E-HORN) that happened on 28th November 2018, our Coordinator Mr. Crispy Kaheru was elected to Chair the Board of the Network.  E-HORN (http://www.ehorn.org) is a regional, independent, non-partisan, inclusive network of East and Horn of Africa election observation and monitoring citizen organizations and institutions.  It is established to link election observation networks and individual monitoring organizations in the East and Horn of Africa, with its Headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya.

Dr Audax Kweyambe of TEMCO -Left hands over the chair of E-HORN to Mr Crispy Kaheru of CCEDU-Right, 28th November 2018 in Nairobi, Kenya.

Download full Communiqué.

Following the Electoral Commision's decision to suspend CCEDU from conducting election-related activities on July 4th 2018, a meeting was held today 24 December 2018 between CCEDU and the Electoral Commission (EC), both parties resolved to immediately renew their partnership and adopt an agreed upon communication strategy.

The Electoral Commission will in due course formally communicate on the renewed engagement and cooperation.

Dr Livingstone Sewanyana shares a light moment with the EC Chairperson Justice Byabakama Simon Mugyenyi

Statement released by the Electoral Commission following the meeting

 

By Crispin Kaheru

Elections are a democratic process for eligible citizens to choose individuals/parties to represent their interests. The choice could also be on accepting or rejecting a proposition, like in the case of referenda.

It is important to note that Uganda has generally been holding regular presidential, parliamentary and local government elections since the promulgation of the 1995 Constitution, every five years, with the exception of the LCI and LCII elections.
But the freeness of elections in Uganda has come under scrutiny. The cost of participating in elections, for example, is prohibitive. To get nominated for a parliamentary seat, one has to pay Shs3m.

Election periods are often fraught with tension, intimidation, and threats that at times breed violence. Whether elections in Uganda are fair can be answered by the number of court challenges that happen after each election. Presidential elections have been challenged in court thrice since 2001, with the 2011 one touching off a deadly wave of Walk-to-Work protests. 

In 2016 alone, more than a third of the MP results were challenged in courts of law. Since 2016, Uganda has had about 35 by-elections, and more than 25 of these are back in the courts of law for one reason or another. 

Crispy Kaheru

Research World International found that about 45 per cent of Ugandans actually do not believe that elections can lead to change of presidential power. When people begin to feel that democracy doesn’t deliver, then its legitimacy becomes difficult to defend – and that is what is happening.

Interest in elections has grown exponentially while faith in elections has declined terribly. Now you have an average of about eight persons running for presidential; six for a Parliament; and 11 for a local government seat. But you also have only about three out of every 10 Ugandans coming out and voting – especially during by-elections and local government elections.

We have elections that are akin to security operations. Each of the recent elections has seen security agencies deployed to play different roles. In some elections, security personnel campaign for candidates. In other cases, they ‘spy’ on the electoral management body, while in other cases, they wrestle with the electorate. Keeping law and order during elections is only a pleasant exception on their part. The current system is such that elections are an affair of the rich gang.

Half of the electorate (about 8 million people) cannot afford three meals a day, yet you have to pay handsomely to run for any elective position. In 2016, for instance, at Parliamentary level, about 50,000 people collected nomination forms, but only about 2,500 returned the forms with the requisite money – to run for about 450 positions.

While the world is moving to secure voters’ privacy and confidentiality, Uganda is still conducting elections by way of lining-up at the Local Council I and II levels. While there is a global shift to encourage citizen participation, open governance and public scrutiny of elections, you have situations where media and election observers are obstructed from following electoral processes.

You have voter educators being casually banned. You have a situation where the credibility of the national voters’ roll (a cornerstone of free and fair elections) continues to be a sticking issue. You have elections (LCI and LCII) conducted, but whose results remain unpublished and ungazetted as required by the law.

After elections, only a handful of MPs make an effort to visit their constituencies. MPs habitually only return to their constituencies during the last six months of their term and rarely respond to the legislative demands from their electorate. Last year, 85 per cent of Ugandans asked their MPs not to amend the Constitution (to remove presidential candidates’ age limits), but 75 per cent of the MPs voted to lift the presidential age limits. The culture of “winner-take-all”, political exclusion, impunity and social divisions continue to undercut representative democracy. To make elections work again, we have to fix these and many other issues. We have to fix the credibility of the electoral management body and of the voters’ roll. 

We have to strengthen public scrutiny of elections, streamline the role of security agencies in elections and strategically integrate relevant technologies in elections. Above all, we have to make deliberate efforts to socialise values such as integrity, trust, honesty, and confidence. We can’t trust government alone to do all this. Stakeholders must come on board throughout the electoral cycle.

Mr Kaheru is the coordinator, Citizens Coalition for Electoral Democracy Uganda (CCEDU)

Article Published by The Daily Monitor

Section 1: Survey Respondents PROFILE SUMMARY

A total of 92 individuals responded to the online survey for Sustaining Peace through Elections that was distributed through a variety of professional networks. Respondents information was self-identified.

Among the respondents 37% were female and 63% male, while 70% had more than 10 years professional experience.

Mr Crispy Kaheru at the launch of the survey results in Brussels, Belgium on 7th October 2018.

Respondents drew from areas of work that encompassed election management (28%), international assistance (22%), election observers (14%), conflict management (13%), political analysts (8%) as well as researchers, human rights professionals and legal analysts.

The survey participants that work in an international capacity were 64% while national based respondents accounted for 36%.

Download Full Survey Results